God is not yet discouraged of man.
"It's nothing but filth," Mom would definitively proclaim as she promptly flipped the power off button on what would now be our antique 3 button remote contol shutting down our one channel to which we three rugrats were intently engrossed. We endured what I believe is the last of the real childhoods, forced to use our imaginations to find something to do or it would be "found for us"... TV. And today in Quinhagak, I think I have more channels than God, I think back to the 3 little urchins fist fighting over who chose which 30 minute episode, from the 2 rigged up bunny eared options grabbed out of the airways over the international border from Canada, would be watched since we were only allowed 1 viewing (if we were lucky)right after dinner and just before we washed dishes by dragging chairs to the sink since we couldn't reach (our allowance was $2 a week). Yes, I was in debt by the rip old age of 8 for a 10 speed bike that cost me dish pan hands for several years. Anyway back then the fight was over Mr. Dress Up in English or Sesame street dubbed in french. Sneaking a peak of Video Hits, the 1 hour Canadian version of MTV cerca 1984 is still burned into my brain, never did ever get into the whole MTV thing. So yes, for this, today 4 men determinedly brought the world into my living room in the middle of nowhere and consequently football into my neighbors house also. I think football was the true reason 4 men determinedly went to work on my satellite dish. Once all the technology was receiving, recognizing, plugged in and pointed in the right direction, Jim attempted to clue me in on how to use my remote-(s). Suddenly I was transported into the cockpit of a plane with the captain garbling out instructions in greek then handing me the controls "here ya go fly this baby". Dumbfounded holding a remote in each hand I turned to Jim and weakly asked "why 2 remotes?" "Oh you'll only use that for on and off..." he tried to assure me. Yeah right I've seen this routine and managed to purposely avoid it for the last 30 years of my life. Thanks to mom and dad refusing cable. I mean Grampa and Gramma have satellite but well, Grampa is the pilot so to speak and I was quite content riding in coach not having a clue what was going on up in the control room except for the occasional turbulence caused by the 4 different remote controls... enough said. Thanks again Jim. He and Steph are my heros. Without them I would be completely isolated from the world and my honeybucket would continue to stink... yes, Jim of All Trades put in my new Little Stanker Fan in my honey bucket our wonderful Principal Eric ordered them for each of us. This should be on the 'Dirtiest Job' show. Now that is the portrait of being 'Neighborly' Sticking you head in someone else's honey bucket. Obviously, I own Steph and Jim a lot. I experienced my first 'throw party' intercepting a glass and cookie sheet. It is a Yupik tradition celebrating a momentous ocassion for someone in that family. This particular one happened to be celebrating a son's earning his pilot's license and another son shooting his first caribou. The family steps out on their porch and throws boxes and boxes worth of all kinds of useful items to an eager and anticipating crowd of only women and children. So be ready to intercept or get out of the way and duck, hurling at you from all directions is everything from pairs of socks, bars of soap, wooden spoons, buckets and ulu knives (packaged of course;). And even flying rubbermaids...woulda been Mom's dream come true back in the days of her rubbbermaid craze. It was great fun.
It feels at home in Quinhagak, I walk home from school and collect a crowd of elementary students as they call out,"Hi Rachel!" and escort me to teacher housing. One of the kiddos was telling me about her trip she is taking to Anchorage, "I only have 2 more 'sleeps' until I go to Anchorage." I love that concept and the kids use it all the time here. Didn't you used to think that way? Remember Christmas time, birthdays or summer vacations...only have to go to sleep 3 more times and it'll be such and such....just a few more 'sleeps'. One of the little boys was so excited to share about his new 'snowgo' he would be using this winter...hum, that took me a second, oh yeah, snow machine! Got it! It intrigues me about the differences in languages and dialects. I think its beautiful. Variety. How boring the world would be if everything were the same.